Tidal Wave of Apostasy

By Grant Jeffrey

"He carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth" -Revelation 17:3-5 NKJV

These verses in john's Revelation warn about the pagan apostate church that will rise after the true followers of Christ are taken to heaven by Jesus Christ. During the rapture, hundreds of millions of true Christians from Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox churches will be instantaneously translated to heaven. However, among these churches are hundreds of millions of people who will remain on earth during the tribulation period because they had never truly repented of their sins and trusted completely in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Jesus warned, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven but he who does the will of My Father in heaven" (Matthew 7:2 1).

In the book of Revelation, one of the angels spoke to the prophet John as follows: "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, wit h whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication" (Revelation 17:1,2). This key verse indicates the universal, worldwide nature of the pagan apostate church that will be allied to the rising power of the Antichrist during the first 3 1/2 years of the tribulation period. The ecumenical church will provide propaganda support for the consolidation of the Antichrist's New World Order. During her period of great power this church will ruthlessly persecute anyone who refuses to join in her pagan worship rituals.

John described his vision of this coming inquisition by Mystery Babylon against those new Jewish and Gentile tribulation believers who will become martyrs for their faith in Christ during this terrible tribulation period: "I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus" (Revelation 17:6). Obviously, Mystery Babylon, the apostate pagan church of the last days, will not develop overnight. Such an ecumenical organization, involving many diverse religious groups, will be created by negotiation and conferences over a number of years leading up to the beginning of the seven-year tribulation period. It is therefore quite probable that we will witness the initial steps toward this one-world church of the last days before the rapture takes the Christians home to heaven.

Mystery Babylon and Rome

I realize that there are many born-again Catholics who are grieved in their spirit when a Bible teacher comments on the prophecies that reveal Rome as the headquarters of the Mystery Babylon religion of the last days. The only thing I can say is that I do not feel any animosity toward Catholics as individuals. However, I do feel strongly about the unbiblical heresies that have led hundreds of millions of people over the last 1500 years to endanger their eternal souls. While it is true that there are many born-again Catholics, we cannot ignore the profound gulf that exists between the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church and the teaching of Jesus Christ as found in the Bible. The most fundamental difference is the ultimate source of spiritual truth. As the Roman Catholic Council of Trent declared in 1564 (it has never been rescinded), Rome believes that the truth concerning salvation, etc., is determined solely by the popes and church councils, not by the Bible as the Word of God.

In contrast, as a Protestant Christian, I recognize that the only authoritative source of divine knowledge about salvation, etc., is the inspired Word of God. In addition, while Rome declares that people cannot be saved apart from membership in the Roman Catholic Church, the sacraments, the confessional, and the last rites, the Bible assures us that we are saved solely based on our faith and trust in Jesus Christ's completed atonement for our sins that He paid for us on the cross 2000 years ago. The Roman Catholic Cardinal D'Allen stated that the Protestant focus on the Bible's authority was an obstacle to the ecumenical union together of all churches of the world. Cardinal D'Allen declared, "The Reformation was a Protestant revolt disrupting the unity of the church. Union will take place when the rebels accept the authority of the Pope and abandon the authority of Scripture. Rome can accept nothing short of this."

What is the proper identification of this mysterious symbol of religious persecution, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots? In Revelation 17:7,9 the angel tells the prophet John, "I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.... Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits." This inspired statement that the woman sits on seven mountains or hills is the clearest possible declaration that the final apostate church will be based in Rome. While the apostate Babylonian church of the tribulation period will involve all religions joined together, the Revelation prophecy indicates clearly that this worldwide church organization will have its headquarters in Rome.

Coins issued by the Roman government during the first century of the Christian era carried the motto "the city on seven hills" as the well-known designation of the capital of the Roman Empire. Virtually every one of the classical Roman writers and poets, including Virgil, Horace, and Ovid, referred to Rome as the "city of seven hills." Interestingly, some of these classical writers referred to Rome as Septiceps, the seven-headed city, which is virtually identical with the phrase used by the prophet John. It is also fascinating to note that the angel described the apostate harlot church as wearing her name on her forehead: "On her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT" (Revelation 17:5). According to the Roman writer Marcus Seneca in Controversia (chapter vd), the harlots of that ancient city used to identify themselves to their customers by wearing their names on a label on their foreheads.

A Roman Catholic commentary on the prophecies of Revelation published in 1956 by Bernard F. Leonard called The Book of Destiny also identified this city as Rome. Although there are few Catholic commentaries on Revelation, it is fascinating to note that The Book of Destiny was approved by the Roman Catholic censor with the words Nihil Obstat and contained the imprimatur of the bishop of Sioux City, Iowa. Leonard writes: "This great harlot is a city whose apostasy from the true faith is a monstrous thing. This may point to Rome. Rome is the Holy City of Christ, the center of His eternal kingdom.... And the apostasy of this city, and her becoming the head of an empire that would lead all possible nations and peoples into Antichrist- worship, would indeed merit for her the title of THE GREAT HARLOT. The apostles called ancient Rome 'Babylon' (I Peter 5:13). So the conclusion is near that the great harlot of the future shall be Rome." It is interesting that this book is still sold in many Roman Catholic bookstores.

Pope John Paul II and the Last Days

Karol Wojtyla of Poland was elected pope in October 1978. While he is a strong supporter of world government, he is not the first pope to promote this idea. His predecessor pope, Paul VI, wrote a Papal Encyclical that called on the nations to abandon sovereignty to form a world government. Pope John Paul 11 is constantly calling for the nations to abandon their opposition to world government. Malachi Martin, a Jesuit writer who is very close to the pope and has excellent sources in the Vatican, wrote in his book The Keys of This Blood about the pope's plans for a one-world government. Martin says that the pope "has plans and is working for a genuinely geopolitical structure: a One World Government that is both viable and humanly acceptable. "John Paul II believes that "the establishment of an order based on justice and peace is vitally needed today as a moral imperative valid for all peoples and regimes ... this is the only path possible."

The Fatima Vision

A curious bit of information was recently revealed about the thinking and motivation of Pope John Paul II. Several books, including Malachi Martin's The Keys of This Blood, revealed that the political and religious agenda of the pope is strongly influenced by various predictions regarding the future of the papacy. One of these is the so-called "vision of Fatima." When he became pope, in 1978, John Paul II was given access to the secret message of Fatima, which Catholics believe was entrusted to the Church through a series of visions granted to several children in Fatima, Portugal, beginning on May 13, 1917. Supposedly, a vision of Mary appeared to three peasant children in six different visions over a five-month period in 1917, and they claimed she gave them three secret messages.

Let me explain that I do not believe that the Fatima vision is a genuine prophecy from God. Regardless of the apparent sincerity of the witnesses, the vision's message is absolutely in opposition to the Bible. Fundamentally, this vision elevates Mary and demands that the world, and Russia especially, "must be consecrated to Mary." There is not a single passage in the Bible that supports such a demand. On the contrary, we are commanded to worship God alone. Isaiah warned, "I am the Lord, that is MY name; and My glory I will not give to another" (Isaiah 42:8). The significance of the Fatima vision (and the Malachi vision, discussed later) is that they give us an insight into the thinking and motivation of John Paul 11 as one of the key individuals moving our world toward the one-world government prophesied in the Scriptures.

The first two of these secret messages of Fatima were revealed during the decades following 1917. The first vision supposedly warned that mankind as a whole was proceeding down a path of sinful rebellion that would lead millions to an eternity in hell.

Then, during the 1930s, the second message was gradually released to the public, warning about the beginning of World War 11 and the growing physical and spiritual danger to the West from the godless Communist state of Russia. The third vision was held in total secrecy until 1944.

At that time the sole survivor of the children who witnessed the apparition was still living. She was commanded by her bishop to write the secret message on a piece of paper, seal it in an envelope, and deliver it to the Vatican. The child witness, now an adult named Lucia, claimed that Mary demanded that the third message remain secret until 1960, when the pope at that time should open it and act on its instructions. This third vision, known as the Third Secret of Fatima, is believed to concern the military and political dangers that would afflict the West in the closing years of this millennium. While the actual wording of the Third Secret remains known to a very few people, the general outline of its message emerged during the papacy of John Paul 11.

This last vision of Fatima is apparently in three parts. First, if the Vatican neglects to take the actions demanded, physical catastrophes-wars, earthquakes, floods, etcetera will supposedly destroy the nations and peoples as a punishment for rejecting God's laws. Second, a refusal to comply with the message's demands would trigger a growth of atheism and massive worldwide apostasy from the Catholic Church. In addition, Russia's godless ideology would sweep throughout the world, causing millions to lose their faith. This will conclude with a devastating world war that will bring mankind to the very edge of extinction. However, a remnant will survive the holocaust and gradually revive in the next millennium. The third part of the Fatima message supposedly promises that this devastating war, followed by spiritual catastrophe, could be averted if, first, the pope and his bishops will publish the warnings of Fatima in 1960, and second, the pope and cardinals will "consecrate" Russia to the Virgin Mary. This continuing focus on Mary rather than the Bible's command to focus on Jesus Christ convinces me that the Fatima vision is not sent by God but is simply one more deception launched by Satan.

The pope in 1960, John XXIII, allegedly read the Fatima message but rejected its authority and refused to carry out its instructions. According to Malachi Martin, Pope John XXIII explained his refusal to his papal successors in these words: "These [predictions] do not concern our times." The next pope, Paul VI, also refused to comply with the demands of the vision. In a fascinating comment on their actions, Pope John Paul 11 told one interviewer, "Given the seriousness of its contents, my predecessors in the Petrine Office diplomatically preferred to postpone publication [of the vision] so as not to encourage the world power of Communism to make certain moves."

It is fascinating to note that these popes believed the West was so vulnerable at the time that Russia's dictators would have accelerated their plans to launch their attack on Western nations if they had known the precise words of the Fatima warning. In 1957, Cardinal Ottaviani, a very politically astute churchman, told Malachi Martin that the dangerous "Secret" must be buried "in the most hidden, the deepest, the most obscure and inaccessible place on earth."

Pope John Paul II and the Fatima Message

During his painful convalescence following the assassination attempt, John Paul 11 spent hours studying the secret Fatima message. He tried to obey the command of the Fatima vision by holding a special service in Fatima, Portugal, on May 13, 1982, one year to the day after the assassination attempt. In the ceremony he "consecrated" the world to Mary with "a special mention of Russia" in his attempt to fulfill the dictates of this strange vision. Pope John Paul 11 is unusual among the popes of this century in his earnest devotion to Mary. His personal motto is "Totus Tuus" (Entirely Yours). He consciously and publicly attributes his motivation and the direction of his life to Mary. John Paul 11 has stated that he consecrated and dedicated himself as "priest, as bishop, and as cardinal to Mary."

The Bible tells us that Mary was truly blessed by God as she was granted the privilege of becoming the birth mother of Jesus Christ. All Christians of all denominations rightly consider Mary as one of the most blessed persons in the Bible and in history. Her admirable character and spiritual life stimulate sincere admiration among all those who love Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord.

However, the Bible, which is the only infallible source of God's commands to Christians, has never commanded or permitted the worship of anyone other than God Himself. The Bible tells us, through the words of the apostle Paul, that "there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time" (I Timothy 2:5,6). None of the apostles mentioned Mary during the decades following Christ's ministry. Through God's grace, every Christian can approach God's throne directly because Christ shed His blood for us on Calvary. We do not need anyone to intercede on our behalf. Jesus Christ, as Almighty God, loves each of us so much that He came to this earth to die on the cross, bearing the punishment for the sins and guilt of each of us so that, once we repent and turn from our sinful path to follow Him as our Lord, we might enter into a complete and joyful relationship with Him forever.

During a papal audience in Saint Peter's Square on May 13, 1981, the pope noticed a little girl wearing a picture of Mary at Fatima. At that exact moment the Turkish assassin Mehmet Ali Agca fired two bullets at John Paul's head. He missed his target by several inches because the pope bent his head to greet the child. The next two bullets hit John Paul's body, disabling him for many months. Apparently, while he recovered, the pope began to seriously consider the Fatima vision and its meaning for his mission and the Roman Catholic Church. John Paul 11 believes his personal destiny is to rule over the Catholic Church during the crisis described in the Third Secret of Fatima.

According to Malachi Martin John Paul 11 is waiting for a miraculous intervention from heaven that will stun the world with its display of supernatural power. In the book The Keys of This Blood, Martin wrote about the pope's belief, based on the Fatima visions, in a miraculous appearance of Mary in the future in connection with a spectacular astronomical event involving the sun.

He is waiting, rather, for an event that will fission human history, splitting the immediate past from the oncoming future. It will be an event on public view in the skies, in the oceans, and on the continental land masses of this planet. It will particularly involve our human sun, which every day lights up and shines upon the valleys, the mountains and the plains of this earth for our eyes. But on the day of this event, it will not appear merely as the master star of our so-called solar system. Rather, it will be seen as the circumambient glory of the Woman whom the apostle describes as "clothed with the sun" and giving birth to "a child who will rule the nations with a scepter of iron." Fissioning it will be as an event, in John Paul's conviction of faith, for it will immediately nullify all the grand designs the nations are now forming and will introduce the Grand Design of man's Maker. John Paul's waiting and watching time will then be over. His ministry as the Servant of the Grand Design will then begin. His strength of will to hold on and continue, and then, when the fissioning event occurs, to assume that ministry, derives directly from the Petrine authority entrusted solely to him the day he became Pope, in October of 1978. That authority, that strength, is symbolized in the Keys of Peter, washed in the human blood of the God-Man, Jesus Christ, John Paul is and will be the sole possessor of the Keys of this Blood on that day.

Apparently John Paul believes this global apparition will astonish the population of earth. It is alleged by Malachi Martin that the pope thinks this phenomenon will give him the religious authority to create a new religious renaissance and rule over a new church/state world government. Various catholic organizations such as Opus Dei, the Catholic Campaign, and others are now working behind the scenes to abolish the separation of church and state. Time magazine in December 9, 1991, carried an article questioning the historic separation of church and state.

The Saint Malachi Predictions

Apparently another series of curious predictions from A.D. 1148, the prophecies of an archbishop of Armaugh, Ireland (known as Saint Malachi), also convinced Pope John Paul 11 that he is presiding over the last days of his church. On several occasions the present pope has indicated that he believes he is the last pope who will follow the teachings of Christ and truly believe in Jesus Christ as the Lord God Almighty. It is an open secret in Italy and Europe that many of the present priests, cardinals, and bishops are no longer true believers in the inspiration of the Scriptures and the historical credibility of the gospel of Christ. Just as in the growing apostasy in the Protestant denominations, many of these modern Catholic leaders have rejected the fundamentals of New Testament faith, such as the virgin birth and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Pope John Paul II fears that, following his death, the conclave of cardinals who will choose the next pope will elect someone who will not uphold historic Christianity. Apparently one of the reasons for this is his belief in an 800-year-old prediction from Saint Malachi.

Maol-Maodhog O'Morgair, later known as Saint Malachi, was born in Armaugh, Ireland, in A.D. 1094. After a life of faithful service he was appointed Metropolitan Bishop of Ireland in 1133. Following a lifetime of devotion to Jesus Christ as his Lord, he died in A.D. 1148. Many people in the Irish Church and some in the Vatican today believe he authored an unusual prophecy that foretold the future of the Roman Catholic Church for the next 850 years. The prophecy supposedly described all of the popes from Pope Celestine 11 (who ruled in A.D. 1143) until the last pope who would rule during the final destruction of the Catholic Church, almost a thousand years later, during the Battle of Armageddon.

This curious prophecy of Saint Malachi consists of a series of prophetic poetic stanzas in Latin that purports to describe 111 future Roman popes who would rule the Vatican.

According to Saint Malachi's prediction, there would be only 111 popes in the Catholic Church following Pope Celestine, who died in A.D. 1146. Some researchers have suggested that these descriptions of the future popes were quite accurate, but it is very hard to verify this. Let me reaffirm that I do not place any faith or confidence in any prophecy or prediction except those found in the inspired pages of Holy Scripture. All other predictions are simply human speculations. However, since Pope John Paul II apparently believes in the Fatima vision and the poetic vision of Saint Malachi and looks to them for guidance, it is vital that we explore these visions to understand the motivations and thinking of those who will play major roles in the events of the last days.

Saint Malachi's list of the last few popes to rule the Roman Catholic Church:


Poetic Description:
Pastor Angelus Pastor et nauta Flos Florum De Medietate Lunoe De labore soils

Name                        Years of Rule
Pope Pius XII                            1939-1958
Pope John XXIII                          1958-1963
Pope Paul VI                             1963-1978
Pope John Paul 1                         1978-1978
Pope John Paul II                        1978-present

The ancient Irish prophecy of Saint Malachi concluded with a prediction that the last pope of the Roman Catholic Church will rule following the death of the present pontiff, Pope John Paul II, pope number 110. Furthermore, this curious ancient prediction suggests that the last pope will be the first pontiff in 2000 years who will dare to assume the name of Peter, choosing the name of Peter 11 of Rome. Following the poetic style, the ancient prophecy purports to describe the details of the destiny of the final pope of the Roman Catholic Church.

After detailing his visions to be fulfilled, Saint Malachi wrote the following words to describe his vision of the last pope. Malachi's prophecy, written in Latin, reads as follows: "In persecutione Extrema Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae sedebit Petrus Romanus qui pascet oves in multis tribulationibus, quibus transactis, certus septi collis dirurtur et pie ex tremendis predicabit populum suum." Translated into English, this curious ancient prediction reads as follows: "In the last persecution of the Roman Church, Peter the Roman will rule. He will have great tribulation which will end with the destruction of the city on seven hills." According to Malachi's vision the final pope of the Roman Catholic Church will be from Italy. The prediction suggests he will take the name Peter 11 and will come to power in the Vatican in the final days of this century, during the tribulation when the world is overcome by military and political catastrophes as described in the book of Revelation. The important point is that Malachi believed his prophecy would conclude the final days of this millennium. Apparently Pope John Paul II believes that he is following an agenda based on these extrabiblical predictions, and that he will lead the world during the political, religious, and military crisis that will lead to the appearance of the Antichrist.

The Emerging Worldwide Church

Pope John Paul II has an agenda to create a universal church involving all of the world's religions. Following ecumenical discussions between the Archbishop of Canterbury (representing the Church of England), and John Paul 11 (as reported in Time magazine in October 1989), the archbishop commented on a beautiful ring the pope had given him. The archbishop stated that it was not a wedding ring, but it could be considered an engagement ring symbolizing the coming reunion between their two churches.

The pope also met with the Dalai Lama, the head of Tibetan Buddhism, and other false religionists at Assisi, Italy, in 1986. Incredibly, in this historic meeting the pope joined in a circle to pray and meditate with snake handlers from Togo, shamans and witch doctors from Africa, Hindu gurus from India, Buddhist monks from Thailand, and liberal protestant clergymen from Great Britain! Many Catholics were stunned to hear the pope declare, at this interreligious meeting in Assisi, that there are many paths to God. Incredibly, during his February 1993 visit to Africa, the pope preached his message of unification with false satanic religion. He held meetings with a number of voodoo practitioners and sorcerers.

The Associated Press gave an account of the pope's visit to the African country of Benin with the following headline: "Pope Meets With Voodoo Believers." The newspaper reported, "Pope John Paul 11 on Thursday sought common ground with the believers in voodoo, suggesting they would not betray their traditional faith by converting to Christianity."

In other words, they could retain their voodoo while joining the Catholic church! Voodoo worshipers believe in many deities and use snake rituals. Incredibly, Pope John Paul explained to the voodoo witch doctors that as they worship their ancestors, Christians also revere their "ancestors in the faith, from the Apostles to the missionaries." According to the Associated Press account, voodoo priests warmly welcomed the pope. "'I have never seen God, but today when I have seen the pope, I recognize that I have seen the good God, who prays for all the voduns,' said Sossa Guedehoungue, head of Benin's vodun community."

Catholic Apostasy

Pope John Paul 11 has noted with alarm that during the last few decades the Roman Catholic Church has experienced massive defections from the faith by bishops, priests, nuns, and laymen. Many churches in Western Europe and North America have abandoned traditional Catholic doctrines and now minister to only a few attendees. Many parishes have no priest because so few young men join the priesthood. Some parishes are forced to hire priests from South America because none are available from North America. John Paul Il confided to associates that his attempts to reform the moral atmosphere in the Vatican were thwarted by a large network of actively homosexual priests and higher church leaders who resist every attempt at moral reform. Malachi Martin reported that a number of wicked and immoral priests and bishops had infiltrated the highest levels of the Vatican during the reign of Pope Paul VI in 1963.

Ominously, Pope Paul VI warned about "the smoke of Satan which has entered the Sanctuary," referring to incidents of satanic ceremonies and pagan initiation rituals in the Vatican that defiled the holy name of Jesus Christ. European newspapers have reported numerous cases of satanic pedophilia involving priests, nuns, and bishops in Turin, Italy, and various cities in America. These diabolically evil rituals involve the sexual defilement of innocent children by satanic priests as part of a Luciferian initiation ceremony that involves open worship of Satan.

Researchers who explored the sudden mysterious death of Pope John Paul I in 1978 revealed that this genuine and humble Christian leader, who preceded the present Pope John Paul 11, was appalled at his discovery of the lack of spirituality and true faith among those who rule the Vatican. During the 30 days in which he ruled the papacy, John Paul I discovered that more than a hundred members of the secret occult group the Freemasons had infiltrated high positions within the Vatican, including its powerful financial institutions. According to Roman Catholic law it is illegal for a

priest or bishop to belong to the Freemasons or any other secret occult group. It is significant to note that the list of secret Masons within the Vatican, selected by John Paul I for immediate dismissal, was found in his papal apartment when his body was discovered by his servants. Although the evidence strongly indicated that he had been poisoned, there was no serious investigation and his body was immediately cremated to prevent an autopsy being performed, though required by Italian law.

Subsequently, Italian government investigations revealed that a large and powerful Fascist and Freemason intelligence organization called Propaganda Due (P2) existed within the highest levels of Italian society and the government. Propaganda Due is an anticommunist, Fascist organization founded in the early 1960s with Licio Gelli as its Grand Master. P2 has its headquarters in Rome and branches in France, Switzerland, U.S.A., and South America. It is a private intelligence organization created by the Masonic

Lodge that receives funds from the CIA and the Vatican. P2 was used to secretly transfer over 100 million dollars to the Solidarity labor organization in Poland. The Italian Parliamentary Commission that investigated P2 concluded that it was controlled by secret sources "beyond the frontiers of Italy." Two months before he was murdered, Mino Percorelli defected from P2 in 1979 and claimed that the CIA was behind it.

Members of P2 included Michelle Sindona and Bishop Paul Marcinkus, high officials of the Vatican Bank, who were later charged with massive bank fraud. Other key P2 members included the former prime minister of Italy, Biulio Andreotti, the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Villot, and Agostino Casoroli, the Vatican foreign minister. Investigators found thousands of secret members of P2 in the judiciary, the police, and the military. The judicial investigation determined that the Fascist P2 group had plans to overthrow the existing democratic government of Italy. Unfortunately, after the election of John Paul 11, the individuals implicated in Freemasonry and illegal financial dealings of the Vatican Bank still remain in their powerful positions.

Opus Dei, which means "God's Work," was created as a secret organization under the direct control of the pope by a Catholic priest named Jose Maria Escriva de Balaguery in Spain in 1928. Escriva was succeeded in 1975 by Alvaro del Portillio. Pope John Paul 11 made Alvaro del Portillio a bishop. The membership of Opus Dei includes 1500 priests and 75,000 lay members. This organization has a goal to achieve "a practical union of church and state." Another secret Vatican organization, Pro Deo, meaning "For God," is in reality the Vatican's secret intelligence agency. It was created during World War 11 in Lisbon, Portugal, but was moved to the Vatican after the war. Opus Dei was funded by William Donovan, the World War II director of the Office of Strategic Services, which later became the Central Intelligence Agency.

Protestant Apostasy

"The Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons" (I Timothy 4:1,2). The Bible warns that growing worldwide apostasy will characterize the church during the last generation leading to the return of Christ. "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables" (2 Timothy 4:3,4). While we should not be surprised at the progressive abandonment of the authority of Scripture among the churches because the prophets warned that this would happen, it is tragic to realize that many new believers are in great spiritual danger due to the lack of teaching of doctrine in our churches today.

A 1982 confidential survey by sociologist Jeffrey Hadden on the private religious convictions of 10,000 Protestant pastors found that a majority of these mainline ministers have lost their faith. Anyone considering these horrifying results will realize why the mainline churches have lost their moral and spiritual influence in society. When asked if they still believed that Jesus Christ was God, over 45 percent of the ministers said no. An astonishing 80 percent of the ministers rejected both the claim that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and the claim that Jesus is the Son of God. Thirty-six per cent of these pastors do not believe that Jesus Christ actually rose from the dead.

Ministers who have abandoned the fundamentals of the Christian faith should be honest enough to leave the church and admit they no longer hold the historic faith of the fathers. This rejection of the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith by a majority of these Protestant ministers explains why these religious leaders are willing to abandon the theological differences that have separated the Protestant and Catholic churches over the years and instead join in the powerful ecumenical one-world church of the last days. The apostate church of the end times will be a church with a lowest-common-denominator faith, one that holds almost no fundamental doctrines other than secular humanism and a pagan, idolatrous worship of "the god within."

God's command to those who will repent of their sin and follow Him is that we must base our life, our teaching, and our eternal hope solely on the truth revealed by the unchanging Word of God. "But as for you, continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:14-17).

Catholic-Protestant Ecumenical Unity

Throughout South America and many other countries, Catholics are abandoning the Mass in record numbers to accept Jesus Christ as their only Savior and to worship with fellow Christians in both Pentecostal and evangelical churches. Those who are working behind the scenes to produce an ecumenical world church recognize that these evangelistic efforts are proving very effective in leading Catholics and mainline Protestants to a personal faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.

In response to this problem for the Catholic Church, a group of 40 prominent Protestant and Catholic scholars met on March 29, 1994, to sign a historic and astonishing compromise to ban evangelism efforts directed at each other's members. Entitled Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium, this unprecedented agreement commits these leaders to reject the command of Christ to "go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." Incredibly, according to this covenant, these Protestant leaders agreed that "Christians must stop aggressive proselytizing of one another's flocks and work together more closely." A Catholic priest, Richard Neuhaus, stated that this was the first time since the Protestant Reformation that Protestants and Catholics "joined in a declaration so clear in respect to their common faith and common responsibility."

Significantly, although the document is not an official agreement between the denominations, Neuhaus told the National and International Religion Report on April 4, 1994, that he had received strong encouragement from "appropriate parties at the Holy See" in the Vatican at Rome. These Catholic theologians would love to put an end to Protestant evangelical missions in Catholic countries and the presentation of the Protestant teaching of the authority of Scripture and the necessity of personal faith in Jesus as essential to our salvation because it has been so successful. The evangelistic efforts are entirely one way in that the Protestants are winning great numbers of Catholics to faith in Christ. Therefore this agreement to cease proselytizing will only serve the Catholic desire to prevent their Catholic members from learning about faith in Jesus Christ alone to assure their salvation.

In this same ecumenical theme, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Carey, who presides over the Church of England, has severely criticized Anglican pastors who have persevered in evangelical efforts to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, and other non-Christian groups. Incredibly, in a demonstration of the spiritual bankruptcy of the Church of England, Archbishop Carey has instructed his ministers that nonbelievers in Jesus Christ are just "fellow travelers" on the road to spiritual enlightenment, and therefore they must not be evangelized! In addition, the archbishop declared that he plans a trip to Rome in the near future to discuss how to remove obstacles to ecumenical interfaith unification.

New Age Neopaganism

During the unprecedented Presbyterian Church's Reimagining 1993 Conference, the leaders led participants in an astonishing neopagan New Age religious service that evoked the ancient pagan religions. The speaker is reported to have said, "Sophia, Creator God, let your milk and honey flow. Sophia, Creator God, shower us with your love." A celebration of the "Lady's Supper" was reported on by a traditional conservative church magazine, the Presbyterian Layman, in its January/ February 1994 issue. The magazine article stated, "The conference glorified lesbianism and ... some conference speakers advocated adding books to the Bible to justify feminist and homosexual activism."

In an astonishing statement given at the Presbyterian conference, another feminist speaker declared, "I don't think we need a theory of atonement at all.... Atonement has to do so much with death.... I don't think we need folks hanging on crosses and blood dripping and weird stuff... We just need to listen to the god within." This infiltration of New Age philosophy continues to grow among a number of older mainline denominations, and it was apostasy was prophesied by our Lord to occur in the last days.

For those who still doubt that the religious elite in the largest denominations are planning to create an ecumenical one-world church, they should carefully consider the information in this chapter. Several years ago Archbishop Ramsey, President of the World Council of Churches, addressed a public meeting at the Roman Catholic Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York which was attended by Archbishop Lakovas of the Greek Orthodox Church and Cardinal Cook of the Catholic Church. Incredibly, the President of the WCC declared, "I can foresee the day when all Christians might accept the Pope as Bishop of a World Church."

The World Council of Churches (WCC) was founded in 1948 as a Christian organization dedicated to bringing about a universal cooperation among Christian churches worldwide. However, over the last 47 years liberal and socialist theologians have taken control of the WCC, until today the organization is barely Christian in any sense that would be recognized by Christians in the early church. Universalism and secular humanism have replaced biblical Christianity and its emphasis on teaching a lost humanity about the need for personal repentance. We are witnessing instead the creation of embryonic organizations that will ultimately produce the Mystery Babylon church of the last days.

An article in the April 5, 1993, edition of Christianity Today by Tokunboh Adeyemo indicated the direction that the World Council of Churches is now pursuing. Significantly, the WCC Life and Work Slogan is "Doctrine Divides-Service Unites," thereby indicating its rejection of biblical doctrine as divisive in the interests of achieving a common consensus on the basis of the lowest common denominator theology. The WCC Secretary for Evangelism, Raymond Fung, indicated that evangelism encompasses every effort to improve the human condition whether it is made by Christians or non-Christians. He declared that Christians have no monopoly on evangelism. Yet the Bible teaches that evangelism is the proclamation of the good news of salvation in Christ for the express purpose of spiritual conversion. The WCC teaches an implicit universalism and believes that the best of the non-Christian pagan religions are equal in value to (if not better than) the best of Christianity. As a result, the WCC believes that dialogue and cross-fertilization are their highest goals. In contrast, the historic teaching of Christianity is that all non-Christian religions are products of fallen human cultures.

David Gill, a WCC representative based in Geneva, Switzerland, announced to a radio audience during a 1974 British Broadcasting Corporation interview that the most important goal of the WCC is to "De-Protestantize the Churches" to prepare them to join the coming world church. The true biblical priority of the church is to evangelize the world and create churches everywhere for teaching, fellowship, and worship of Jesus Christ. But now the WCC has declared that cross-cultural evangelism is wrong and presumptuous! The WCC now demands that Western Christian churches declare a moratorium on evangelism so that non-Christian cultures will not be offended by the claims of the gospel of Christ. Obviously, the leaders of the WCC assume a universalism where everyone will be saved in the end whether or not they respond to the gospel of Christ.

The 1973 Conference on World Mission in Bangkok articulated a new Christian world mission. This new WCC view taught that salvation should be replaced by a dedication to social/political/ economic well-being. The historic Christian focus on the need of sinners for reconciliation to God, sanctification, and the hope of heaven were replaced by a radical secular humanism that focused solely on improving the social, political, and practical conditions of life. Incredibly, the leadership of the WCC declared at the Bangkok conference that this was "the close of the era of missions and the beginning of the era of mission."

The Good News!

"This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come" (Matthew 24:14). One of the final prophetic signs that Jesus Christ is about to return is His prophecy that "this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world." Despite all the bad news, the gospel is truly being preached in all the world in the last days. The true growth of the church in the last days is astonishing! From only one million Christians in China in 1949 when the Communists took over, researchers estimate that over 80 million Chinese have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior despite the terrible persecution. One estimate suggests that over 25,000 Chinese are dedicating their lives to Jesus Christ every day despite tremendous religious persecution.

In the Muslim nation of Indonesia more than 20 percent of the population has accepted Christ. Despite decades of dedicated missionary efforts, by 1900 only 3 percent of Africans had accepted Christ. However, in the last 90 years over 45 percent of the 500 million citizens in Africa have accepted Christ! In Russia, the introduction of the gospel and the availability of Russian-language Bibles has led 100 million Russians to follow Christ. In South Korea the gospel was rejected for many years despite the valiant efforts of missionaries. However, as the winds of the Holy Spirit began to move throughout Asia following World War 11, 30 percent of the population of Korea found faith in Christ. Around the world more than 85,000 people accept Christ as their Savior every single day. In the 2000-year history of the church we have never seen such an astonishing move of God as we are witnessing today.

The Spectacular Growth of the True Church

A recent study by the Lausanne Statistics Task Force on the progress of evangelism concluded that the growth of the church is far greater than previously reported. In only 15 years, from 1980 until now, the number of born-again Christians is growing at a rate three times faster than the growth of the world's population. These historically verifiable records reveal this incredible growth in the number of Christians worldwide:

In 1430 Christians amounted to one in 99 of the world's population.

In 1790 Christians amounted to one in 49 of the world's population.

In 1940 Christians amounted to one in 32 of the world's population.

In 1970 Christians amounted to one in 19 of the world's population.

In 1980 Christians amounted to one in 16 of the world's population.

In 1983 Christians amounted to one in 13 of the world's population.

In 1986 Christians amounted to one in 11 of the world's population.

In 1994 Christians amounted to one in 10 of the world's population.

Consider these figures carefully. We are winning a significant remnant of the world's population during these last days! In only 60 years the number of Christians worldwide has grown by an astonishing 1300 percent, from only 40 million in 1934 to 540 million Christians today, while the world's population has grown by only 400 percent. Christian radio broadcasts are now reaching almost half of the world's 360 "mega-languages," covering 78 percent of the earth's population, according to the broadcasting group World By 2000. Evangelical broadcasters are now providing (lie gospel to every language group in the world. The combination of tremendous evangelism efforts by mission organizations, hundreds of thousands of dedicated national pastors, and the work of Christian broadcasters is rapidly fulfilling the Great Commission.

The accomplishments by the Wycliffe Translators and many others translating the Bible into the languages of millions who have not yet heard the gospel is one of the little-known miracles of the last days. Despite the pessimistic analysis of many that the population of the earth is growing faster than the growth of the church, the truth is that the gospel is being preached in all the world with astonishing success during these last days. A 1991 study by the National Council of Churches concluded that church membership is growing at twice the rate of the overall population throughout the world. Their study also noted that the greatest growth is in evangelical churches.